Although studies on stable-carbon isotopes in trees from temperate zones provide abundant paleoclimatic data, tropical trees are still understudied in this context. Therefore this study examined the variability of intra- and inter-annual stable-carbon isotopic pattern in several tree species from various tropical climates. The δ13C values of samples of 12 broadleaved trees (seven species) from various paleotropical and neotropical sites along a climatic moisture gradient were investigated. The inter-annual variability between species and sites was studied. Further the relationship between δ13C and precipitation time series was analyzed. Results show that tropical tree species show a similar variability in carbon isotopic composition as temperate tree species. Significant correlations between annual precipitation and tree-ring δ13C time series were negative. Successful crossdating of a tree-ring δ13C time series highlights the potential of carbon isotope measurements for tropical tree-ring analytical studies. Tropical broadleaved trees are able to capture a carbon isotopic signal in their annual rings even under everwet conditions and show good potential for paleoclimatic research.
stable carbon isotopes